Background to the report

As at March 2023, the Government Major Projects Portfolio included 244 projects with an estimated total cost of £805 billion. Government undertakes projects to deliver a range of objectives from supporting economic growth to making public services more efficient.

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Previously we have found that government does not routinely look at what happens after major projects are completed. Delivering to budget and schedule are important. However, the success of a project and whether it represents value for money will be determined by whether the value of the project justifies its cost.

Scope of report

Our report examined how projects achieve value to see what lessons there are for other projects. By value, we mean the difference projects make to citizens, service users or the environment.

We returned to six projects that received public funding which we have reported on during earlier phases of their lifecycle. We interviewed a selection of people who were involved in the projects or are operating the completed projects, and other stakeholders.

Examples used include:

  • The Millennium Dome/ O2
  • High Speed 1
  • The BBC’s move to Salford
  • The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games